THE rapid rise of educational content creators has taken social media users from scrolling for influencers, dance videos and comedy to something more enlightening.
One of those reshaping that online landscape into something more informative is Kavya Karnatac. The rapidly rising Indian star has gained over million Instagram followers since the beginning of this year with her geography-based content, giving inciteful information about different corners of India. The 26-year-old has earned accolades from government officials and given the kind of window into wonderful parts of India not seen before.
Eastern Eye caught up with the unique geography content creator to find out more. Karnatac also revealed why geography is India’s biggest strength, a memorable encounter, fascinating fact and what it feels like to have more followers than the Indian Ministry of Tourism.
What made you want to create content centred around geography?
I create geography content that goes beyond the conventional view of mountains and rivers to explore how geography influences India and its people. This subject helps me gain a deeper understanding of India, enrich my personal life, and appreciate our diverse culture.
What was the starting point?
My passion for geography was sparked during my time at Lady Shri Ram College at Delhi University when I interacted with students from various Indian states. This exposure to different cultures inspired me to share their unique identities with my audience. I’m also driven by the belief that geography education in schools is often limited by ineffective pedagogy. With my visualisation skills, which include 3D and physical models, I feel equipped to present geography in a more engaging and innovative way.
Did you expect to become incredibly popular so quickly?
Not at all. I started creating content while working a full-time job, and within two months, we reached 200,000 followers, even gaining 50,000 in just 24 hours at one point. Now, after 10 months, we’ve crossed a million followers, making us the biggest and fastest-growing educational page on Instagram. These numbers were unexpected, but I always believed in the relatability and shareability of our content. We now track our data, gaining 3,000 followers daily and over 100,000 monthly, allowing us to predict growth. Initially, we didn’t anticipate becoming popular so quickly.
What has been your most favourite place in India that you have visited?
My favourite place geographically is the Western Ghats. States I love are Karnataka and Rajasthan. In terms of districts, Nashik is my current favourite. I recently visited it and it’s a beautifully underrated city.
How do you choose which destinations to profile?
It is based on three things. Places I have been to, places that come up in conversations with friends and destinations recommended to me by my followers.
You give a lot of fascinating facts, but which has been your favourite?
My favourite fact is, there is a house which is half in India and half in Myanmar, and so is in two countries literally. You go from your kitchen to your bedroom and your country changes! That village is called Longwa village, and it’s located in Nagaland.
What has been your most memorable encounter while travelling?
I met some of my followers recently, but the most fascinating encounter was in Goa. A woman selling ankle trinkets recognised me from my content and we sat together. She also called her other group of older women, and they were all telling me how they had been watching my videos and while watching these videos how they were discussing their state and the politics of it. Very memorable experience indeed.
Has anything surprised you when you have been learning about a certain place?
There are so many things that I learn every time I work on a video. Everything I come across while scripting my videos has kept me hooked.
Do you think people, especially overseas, perhaps don’t know the real India?
I don’t think there is a real India first. India is based on the experience of people living there. We can never know the real India, but we can just explore our idea of real India.
Why do you think that India’s geography is its biggest strength?
Because India’s geography is so diverse; every state has its own unique culture which dictates the daily operations of its everyday life, from clothes to business. Geography dictates all the aspects of our lives and that is why I think India’s geography is its biggest strength.
What are your future plans?
We have recently launched a new series on YouTube where we are reading NCERT Geography books for Class 6th to 10th. The idea behind that is to just get our basics super strong. Post that we are planning on launching a series of long form videos. My ambition in three years is to create an app which is a local guide to India.
How do you feel about having more followers than the Indian Ministry of Tourism?
I didn’t know that. I don’t think it’s a comparison ever between creators also and any pages. The purpose of creating content for everyone is different and followers do not really define much – it truly comes down to the connection you have with the audience or how much your value is to the platform you are in. But I do genuinely think that Indian Ministries should collaborate with creators like us, so that it helps with the reach of their content and more importantly we learn from each other.
Which place do you most want to visit?
Currently, I want to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
What do you reckon inspires you as a content creator?
My mother. She has been an educator for the past 23 years. I also treat all content creators in my field with high respect and take inspiration from their work.